In the digital age, both information and misinformation are readily available for anyone with a computer or a smartphone. Discerning what is real and what isn’t is not always easy especially for digital novices because there are websites and social media pages that are created with the intent to deceive.
This kind of deception has proven effective in getting politicians elected both in the country and abroad. The profile of the victims cover pretty much all academic and social standing. Social media savvy individuals aren’t even immune. I have personally seen friends that have fallen prey to fake articles posted by paid political influencers that forward their agenda by promoting half-truths.
And while it was initially amusing to make fun of people who make a fool of themselves by sharing fake news, the growing number of believers have reached an alarming rate. Worse, they have proven effective in dividing the nation and making people blind to the harsh realities around them. What started as bots and parody accounts designed to influence trending topics and conditioning consumers on which telco brand or product is better, the strategists crossed over to politics where the money is better. The problem here is that their source of income now directly affects lives. Add up the morally corrupt influencers and they get an indomitable team to cover up crime and corruption, create diversions when an important national issue is in the spotlight, and even invent stories that destroy reputations and lives.
“Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it.”
The Adolf Hitler Book (2008 edition), Adolf Hitler – ISBN: 9781438227931
Lifted directly off Hitler’s playbook of calling the media lügenpresse or the lying press, men who benefit from fake news have discredited the mainstream media and have directed credulous minds to accept false information and propaganda that they have funded.
Aligned with the global initiative to thwart fake news, I am taking this site out of dormancy and making it an avenue for truth, justice… and let’s not get carried away. I will still post personal travels and the like but I will also start posting relevant news and opinion pieces that most personal blogs stay away from. Of course, these will be served with some fact-checking on the side. Once and for all, I think it is time to take back blogging and the internet from paid trolls. Let’s get to work.
Image by: Angelo Esperanzate